Bonds for Lee - is it worth it?
A little background for those who may not keep up with such things.
The Astros have had a lackluster season but have recently started winning a lot of games, causing fans to think that maybe, just maybe, there remains a chance to make the playoffs.
Barry Bonds has hit more home runs than anyone in the history of the game, but has recently been the subject of steroid rumors and investigations. Additionally, he is said to be a bit of a sour apple in the clubhouse.
Last weekend, Carlos Lee, the Astros power-hitting left fielder, broke a finger and is out for most of the season.
Barry Bonds, also an outfielder, is available.
One side of the discussion is that someone like Bonds can make a difference in a game because of the offensive possibilities. Sure, he brings baggage, but a key home run here and there will offset some team turmoil.
The other side is that the Astros have a good thing going, a chemistry that is working, and someone like Bonds could cause a laboratory explosion. Additionally, Bonds has not played all year and, some would say, could be playing for the first time in years without artificial help. In other words, he may not be the player he was.
Personally, I have a problem ... as a fan ... with the win-at-all-costs mentality.
Sure, I want my teams - Astros in baseball, Cowboys in football, Aggies in college - to win, but I am more concerned that they play right.
Jerry Seinfeld had a comedy routine several years back about how players move around so much and that fans are essentially cheering for the uniform - cheering for laundry, he said.
However, a team can lose my support when it proves to be an embarrassment on or off the field.
It's not that every player has to be the caliber of Roger Staubach or Craig Biggio, but I want them to recognize that being a good member of the community is as lofty a goal as catching 100 passes or batting over .300.
Such a mentality is not likely to permeate any professional sports, though, because management is more concerned about producing championships. Why? Because that is the primary measure made by fans.
We don't care who he beat, what he shot up, how he treats his pets, whether he pays child support ... can he perform on the field?
I am not alone, of course, and that puts some pressure on management to walk a fine line. Maybe that's why the Astros front office is saying the team is not interested in signing Bonds.
Let's see if that line holds in a month if they are two games out of the wild card race.